Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Now seems like as good a time as any to talk about New Year's Resolutions. I used to not make New Year's resolutions. I don't know if this is true or if they've always been the same. Lose weight. Get a boyfriend. I wonder if I just stopped making them after a while. I can't remember a specific resolution so it almost seems silly to do this.

HOWEVER. This blog now exists. And I update it! So maybe there's some accountability.

New Year's Resolution: Get fit. Yes, part of that entails getting to my goal weight. But also I want to become strong. Firm up. I'd say 95% of my weightloss has been diet related. Maybe even a higher pecentage than that. I'd like to now take my new, leaner body to the gym. I pay for a gym membership. I should use it.

  • Cook more. Try and cook a homemade dinner at least twice a week. Buy a crockpot (I'm currently obsessed with this idea) and get it done.
  • Bring lunches. Don't buy lunch except for VERY rare occasions.
  • Don't stop seeing Christine. I don't think this will be an issue at all considering my undying love and devotion to her.
  • Do not punish myself. 'Nuff said.
  • Continue blogging - maybe try and build a readership (not that you guys aren't THE BEST).
  • Work as hard as I can. Push myself to be better. Get to higher ground in my company.
And that's them! I'm sure most of these are just the whim of the moment (crockpot), but I hope I actually stick to some of it and continue working to improve myself (body, mind, spirit type stuff).

What are your goals for the 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And then... a binge.

Honestly for the first time in a long time I really seriously binged.

I can sit here and write you excuses. I am tired. I am sick. It was a party. Hormones. Boys. Stress. Holidays. But all of that add up to nothing. I've been all of those things before. Food isn't an excuse. I even was aware of what was going on at the time. I just didn't care and it reached a point where I felt I was SO FAR GONE that I might as well finish what I started. Healthy choices weren't there and MODERATION (which should have been MY healthy choice) didn't happen.

I've been sending my food to Christine and I sent her a really pathetic one telling her I didn't want to send her my food for the day (I've sent her even bad days before so she probably knew this was a horrific one). Her response was short and sweet: "Anna, take a deep breath, the holiday season is almost over, C."

The incredible amount of support I have from her is awesome. What's been SO important about my process (I think) is finding a human support system for this. I get sensitive and udgy when anyone talks about my weight and so it was not easy.

I think my plan right now is actually to eat a little more early in the day. Not that last night was even a little about hunger. I was stuffing my face long after I felt sick I was so full. I got on the scale this morning to a HUGE number for me at this point. But I'm going to try and get in the mentality of evenly spreading calories throughout the day and not LOADING at dinner. This week I think I wanted to step up my diet and eat even LESS and I've overdone it TWICE now. Clearly that is not the answer.

My hopefully more-filling snacks for today (I've already eaten some FiberOne...).

And now I'm feeling anxious for New Year's Eve. I overdid Christmas. I overdid my brother's birthday. I overdid the Hanukkah party. I also don't really know how to plan (THOUGH the amazing lady who is hosting does read my blog... :-) ). I'll bring lots of snacks and not drink too much alcohol (I'm sick anyway so this shouldn't be so hard). Good choices. Good choices. Good choices. And if the choice isn't obvious then moderation is a good choice that can come from me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Omelette Muffins!!

Yesterday was my lay-low day. It was pouring and all I wanted to do was go home, read, mess around on the internet, and cook dinner. One of my favorite people from college was coming over after a date and so I wanted something easy, vegetarian and, of course, healthy. Originally the thought was to make a fritatta. I had a bunch of egg whites in a carton, some frozen spinach (leftover from the chickpeas) and some fat free feta.

I have discovered this blog called It is a really awesome blog. I am kind of obsessed (and trying to find others like her!). She is a Weight Watchers member and so posts points(+) (for all/any of you on the WW plan) as well as nutritional information for everyone else. And lo and behold! She had a spinach/feta fritatta recipe! I thought I was golden. Linked at the bottom though was this recipe for broccoli/cheddar mini omelettes. And I knew that I had to make the omelette muffins. I used the 2nd recipe and just subbed in my carton of my (defrosted and patted dry) frozen spinach for the broccoli, and my fat free feta for the cheddar. And they came out SO WELL. Baked through perfectly in 20 minutes. They heat up well (or so I'm told... gave one to my college friend this morning). And store easily.

I will definitely be repeating this recipe for Jamie when she gets back. A very fruitful experiment! I also imagine these would be great if you're hosting some kind of brunch or even some kind of easy party appetizer. The only thing I would be mindful of is not adding too much salt to your vegetables or eggs because the cheese itself is pretty salty. Mine weren't TOO salty but I could see how it would be easy to forget to hold back a little.
You can see why I like to call them Omelette Muffins

My lovely roommate enjoying! Also that's her thumb and not a weird chin-growth.
Though I must be honest. The rest of my eating has been a little subpar. I WAY overdid it for my brother's birthday. I've been noshing a lot (which is a habit from my Anna-not-losing-weight-only-maintaining days). It's not even that I'm noshing on BAD foods. It's just that I'm not really lowering my intake enough. I'll be working on this this week. Tonight is my mother's Hanukkah party. Which means lots of food and latkes. I requested my dad do some baked latkes (which is sort of besides the point ... Hanukkah is about eating foods DRIPPING in oil). So hopefully he does some of that. My mom will make her Jewish Soul Food lamb/rice dish. Not THE HEALTHIEST but also doesn't take too much to fill up on.

I think once my head is out of the game... even for a little. It's a lot of work to get back in it. Also the wham of the holidays is hard to resist. I did well staying away from the preamble but can you really say NO that much on ACTUAL Christmas. And then New Years. Hopefully I'll pull myself out of it to not go too crazy tonight. And to refocus and GET IT DONE. Only 6lbs to go to my first goal (well... as of Sunday morning... I actually think it's more than that after the past few days...). SO CLOSE I can taste it (bad metaphor?).

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to say NO

Dieting is hard.

Dieting during the holidays is really freaking hard.

I'm sure you're all experiencing this and I know I've mentioned it here before. But I also hate when other people get offended when you're trying to make good choices. The whole "my diet starts January 1" is a poor mentality at best. So what is this? A final hurrah MONTH before you "start your diet"? I've been on a diet for over a year now. Why would I take a break? I sent my thoughts to Christine who said it best: "I find people encourage you to binge like they are so that they won't feel guilty that you have self control.  I wonder if they really enjoy what they are stuffing themselves with. Most have 3 to five pound gain during holidays, I know because I have seen it for 30 years after January 1, a very busy time of year for me with sinners!"

So I'm going to share with you all the things I successfully said no to (and the things I -- oops -- didn't!).

This is all the snack table at work. I successfully said no to EVERYTHING. Not even one measly truffle!

Ironically enough, where I had trouble saying no was to myself. I baked over 4 dozen cookies for my department at work. And I ate a lot of cookies. And cookie dough. I probably had at least 5 cookies that night. I woke up ill and gross. And kind of angry at myself. I wanted to try what I was giving away, I suppose. I felt entitled to eat them because I spent such a long time making them. I don't think I can bake like that in my apartment again any time soon. Then again, there's no cause for it anytime soon. So that can be my holiday splurge, I suppose.

I felt immediately guilty after. What's so interesting is that once you've made the choice to eat the item... there's no going back. You've made that choice, it's in your system and that's that. It's constantly a I'll make a better choice next time.

Christine and I were talking and she said that when she was craving something really decadent, she'd have a piece of chocolate cake for dinner... with some salad on the side or something. Or you have the cake, and the next day you compensate. It's not anything absolute. Youc an always change.

It's never "Oh I'll just start Jan 1!" 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are we there yet?

I'm sick! I have this awful habit of running myself down until my body just says STOP. And I think that's what's going on right now. I did cancel my evening plans last night and instead sat at home watching The Biggest Loser reruns. My roommate and I also lit the menorah (my tradition) and watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (her tradition). It was a lovely Judeo-Christian night.
Note the menorah in the corner
The lunch exchange has been going strong this week even though it was a three-day week for Jamie. She's out of town for the next couple weeks for vacation. I plan to cook lunch for myself at least once a week in her absence. Which might only be one week? Need to figure that out. I will miss my lunch partner!!

Jamie brought vegetarian chilli. She adapted from this recipe. She used small white, black and red beans and added Tabasco. No textured vegetable protein but it really didn't need it! Quite delicious without, actually.

Then yesterday I made Butter Chickpeas adapted from this recipe (scroll down). I don't know why they're called Butter Chickpeas as there is no butter in the recipe. I used Pam instead of oil and substituted fat free plain yogurt for the cream. I also added a carton of frozen peas and some frozen spinach. Just to veggify it a little.

I put in one teaspoon of chilli peppers and it KILLED us. It was SO SPICY. I don't know what the deal was with those little pepper flakes but I definitely overdid it. It was borderline inedible. I brought rice and milk and even that was not enough to cut the spice. We ended up sharing a bread roll... which ultimately helped. I gave the rest to Jamie in hopes she could pawn it off on her boyfriend... but he deemed it too spicy too. I feel bad because I actually think it was a really nice recipe. I just messed it up with the spice.

Photo evidence of Jamie and I surviving (but kind of in pain) after the lunch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keepin' On

I lost a pretty insiginficant amount of weight and ALSO was weighed in the morning (I'm usually weighed right before dinner). I found this a little discouraging, but it's better than gaining!

Last week for our lunch exchange I brought Jamie falafel. This was super lazy/cop out but actually a pretty quick lunch option for any of you looking for that. I bought boxed falafel mix and instead of frying it, I baked it on parchment paper (no need for oil at all!).
I bought this brand but I wasn't totally tied to it.

Brought that in with some 100-calorie pita (I was a little bothered to learn that by "pita" they meant "half a pita" but there you have it. I also brought some hummus, tomatoes, pepper and spinach. Clementines for dessert.
Mmmmm delish!

It was super easy/mostly bought and VERY filling.

Today Jamie is bringing some vegetarian chilli and I'm pretty excited about it. She gets a little nervous cooking (ridiculous) and I'm sure it will be awesome. Stay tuned.

I'm baking cookies for my department at work (they're each getting a batch)! I made three batches of dough this weekend (one more to make tonight) and will finally be baking them all tonight. I hope I can get through tonight without consuming too many (any?). I halved a lot of the recipes with the idea that if I only made a dozen cookies... I had to GIVE a dozen cookies. Somehow now there are four other people joining me and I feel a little bad because I am not sure I will have the cookies to feed them all! Still. Give myself credit for planning, right?

For another little pat-on-the-back moment I'm going to take a picture of our snack table at work yesterday (none of which I consumed).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Lunches

So my last post sort of outlined the details of the Jamie/Anna Lunch Project. Later that week I brought in a Tofu Stir-Fry. I made it in three steps but was pretty unspecific about it so posting a recipe seems weird but I'll approximate it for you as much as possible. Also keep in mind I'm not great at writing recipes (as you will soon see) but you'll get the idea of how it all came together. And it was super tasty. Here's a picture:
The peanut butter cups were from my Secret Snowflake at work and so I pawned it off on Jamie. She didn't protest. The grapefruit was for me!

1 head of broccoli cut into bit sized pieces
1 bunch of spinach
1 carton of mushrooms
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 cup of quinoa
Soy sauce
Curry powder
Pam cooking spray

1) Take out the tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and leave on a paper towel to drain (you can also squeeze out some of the extra moisture with a paper towel). Try and get as much of the water out as possible. When you've gotten out as much moisture as possible, marinate the drained tofu in a little bit of cornstarch, soy sauce and curry powder. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
2) Coat a frying pan with Pam and sautee the garlic.
3) Add broccoli, mushrooms and spinach. Cover and let everything cook. If the broccoli is still hard, consider adding some water. Add some soy sauce if you'd like (or any sort of hot sauce... spices... whatever you want).
4) While that's cooking, add some Pam to another pan and start frying the tofu until it's golden-brown/to your liking.
5) Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
6) I combined the tofu and the vegetables right away and then scooped in quinoa as I wanted. I didn't add Sriracha but I kind of wish I had!

I have to say. It is HARD to be at my office during the holidays! Especially when I'm trying to diet! There is an OBSCENE amount of food here. It only occurred to me today that maybe I should document it so people BELIEVE me when I explain how insane it is. Here is a picture of our snack table (and yes, there is a designated SNACK TABLE) from this afternoon. This was after two cartons of brownies were already consumed. Temptations around every corner.

Insane right? And people are constantly feeling bad for me because I cannot flock around the snack table like they can... so there are several people who say, "Oh Anna, want something?" "NO!" I feel like even a few weeks ago I would've been like "Oh alright, something small." But now I'm on a mission. Even at home the temptations flock! Last night my roommate was making DELICIOUS LOOKING Christmas cookies and some sort of Almond Brittle.

Tomorrow we're having a Holiday Party featuring PIZZA. I'm sure it will be good. I MISS pizza (Healthy Choice really doesn't begin to cut it). My OTHER roommate tempted me with pizza earlier this week. It's been ON MY MIND. The HR person even came by (since it's unclear whether or not I can go to the party due to SOMEONE needing to man my desk) and said that if I didn't get to go she'd bring me a slice. I told her that it was okay since I wasn't really into pizza. She stared at me. "You don't like pizza?" I felt my entire value as a human being called into question. WHAT KIND OF NEW YORKER DOESN'T LIKE PIZZA. I said, "Oh no, I do! Just dieting right now." Honesty is the best policy, right? Another long hard stare. "You are not allowed to diet. It's the holidays. Dieting isn't allowed to start until January 1."

I wanted to say: Sorry! I've actually been dieting for about 14 months now. I've lost almost 70lbs. I sure as hell can diet through the holidays. But instead I just smiled politely. A girl came by later saying she'd bring me a slice too. It's exhausting to say no! I find it really tiring at best. Why do people care so much what I put in my mouth? But actually? Why?

I'm debating bringing a Healthy Choice Pizza in (I know I hated on them earlier ... but I take what I can get)! And being like, OH LOOK I HAVE PIZZA TOO. HOW CUTE IS THAT? But it's Jamie's turn to make lunch... though we're not 100% sure that's happening. Stay tuned.

Today I took a picture of my lunch. Amy's burrito and an apple with some Sriracha on the side! Not the most special, but filling and tastes wholesome enough to me. Definitely holds me. And much better than the popcorn, brownies, cookies and candies filling my office.

Eyes on the prize, guys!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jamie/Anna Lunch Project!

Jamie is my coworker from my last job and I love her a whole lot. My last job is when I started my weightloss journey too so she's seen me work on this all the way through. I feel like not many other people (I guess aside from family) can say the same. I've moved. I've changed jobs. Somehow, though, Jamie has remained a constant for me. We both have gotten new jobs since we worked together, but through a bout of fate and good luck, we work across the street from eachother. AND we both get an hour for lunch.

Jamie and I... in April I think?
Lunch with Jamie is my favorite hour of the day. We galavant around people watching, attempting to get strangers to smile at us, talking about our weeks, and I bother her with my trials and tribulations around food. I usually have trouble talking about my weight issues with people who don't/haven't had weight issues themselves. I feel like being overweight is an incredibly specific problem that's hard to understand if you're not in it. Jamie doesn't offer advice, or criticism, but she does offer an ear. That is probably the most helpful thing of all.

One day (the day after Jamie and I went to the farmer's market), she brought in this totally insanely looking stew. Carrots, potatos, kale, beans. Ahhhh so delightful. I was jealous. A lightbulb went off! "Jamie, how about you bring lunch for the two of us (THESTEWKTHNX) and I'll bring lunch for the two of us at another point! And we can do this every week so we have at least two home cooked meals every week?" She agreed and the next day I got stew:

It tasted so fresh and delicious! Jamie said she added tobasco to the recipe. I think this is good for a couple meals/lunches too. And totally wholesome and fills you to the brim. I had hersend me the recipe so any of you all can have some too!

3 cans of vegetable stock
1 onion

2 carrots
celery or red pepper optional (or any other stew appropriate veggies)
1 bunch of kale or spinach or swiss chard
1 can red kidney beans
1 can cannelloni beans
4 or 5 small to med red or yukon gold potatoes
olive oil

1) Chop and boil the potatoes just until soft. The smaller you chop, the faster they cook.
2) Dice carrots and onion (and optional celery or pepper). Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a big pot, then saute the carrots and onions, until the carrots are a little soft. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Drain and rinse the beans.
4) Dump the stock, a tablespoon of thyme (don't be stingy, it tastes great), salt and pepper to taste, the beans, and the kale into the pot. Wilt down the greens.
5) Dump the potatoes in. Simmer for awhile so the flavors meld. Voila. A chunky, rustic, yummy stew!

Tomorrow I'll post about what I brought for her later that week! Stay tuned!

What is your favorite thing to bring to work for lunch? Help inspire the Jamie/Anna Lunch Project!!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Lost 2.5 pounds this week! In my celebratory state I went back through all my past weights to see where exactly my plateau/laziness started. I am a little hesitant to call it a plateau because what really happened is I stopped trying. It's not like I was on my diet and not losing. But I suppose the fact remains that my weight plateaued diet or no diet.

Also for the first time I could see the weightloss. I usually don't notice the physical changes in myself until my clothes feel big, or it's become drastic. But I started feeling bones (I guess primarily my hip bones) sticking out a little more. I sleep on my side and my knees started banging against eachother uncomfortably because they lost a little layer of cushion there.

So the past two weeks have been pretty good in terms of my eating. A couple slip ups here and there including a ridiculous sushi dinner with my brother (right after I weighed in... not sure that's the healthiest way to celebrate but so goes). But all in all I'm feeling jazzed about losing again. Officially down 67lbs. That's three pounds away from 70lbs. I don't even understand what that means. I put on some "skinny" jeans I bought at the beginning of the summer (with my aunt ... maybe you remember) and the waist is big on me already. They look like a normal pair of jeans and not the skinny ones I remember buying/wearing.

I think sending my food to Christine has been instrumental. I don't want to let her down, and even when I think I'm having an okay-day foodwise, she can help me make better choices next time. "Watch the fat grams on this day. PEANUT BUTTER IS A LOT OF FAT!" (Peanut butter also happens to be my weakness.) This bout of dieting feels more difficult than my pre-plateau state. I wonder if that's because it's always hard starting or maybe because I'm at a lower weight so dieting is going to be more difficult now anyway. Either way, eyes on the prize.

Only 7.25lbs to go before I hit my goal part 1!

And here are some pics from before to keep me motivated.

And some from now:

Monday, December 5, 2011


My Perfect Week went just about as perfectly as it could've. I planned. I brought lunches. I brought healthy snacks. I didn't feel bad about saying no. I avoided Friday Snack, I drank lots of water, I went to my coworker's birthday and DIDN'T drink alcohol (even Christine didn't understand this one "You mean you left your apartment, went to midtown, and didn't drink? Why?" Why? Because I like my coworker and wanted to celebrate with her!).

Though I suppose as predicted, I had a little trouble with my Long Island friends. I was told that when I got in, we'd all go to brunch. I can do brunch. Two eggs. Toast. Bruch: done. When we walked into the brunch place I knew it wouldn't be as easy as all of that. They literally had an entire ballroom buffet. Dozens upon dozens of tables of food: penne a la vodka, sliced meats, omelette bar, french toast, sausage, bacon, and an entire WALL of desserts. I was shocked. And unprepared. So I tried to make do.

Before I touched a plate I walked around the entire place. I was a little sad to see the salad bar was tiny (literally mixed greens, tomatos, cucumbers and croutons) with only creamy (or Russian) dressings. Really? Tucked away in the back, I noticed a seafood section! Lox, white fish, crab claws. I knew I'd start there. The omelettes were being doused in oil. I picked up a taste of the fish section, I went over to the french toast section and lo and behold, the guy there had eggs for poaching! So I added a poached egg and half an English muffin to my plate. And then I filled it out with some cucumbers and tomatos.

And got criticized. My friends were all like "That's all you're eating!?" And coming off a perfect week I was a little stressed. I kept saying yes, and that I didn't have a SMALL amount of food. They kept pushing and I started feeling like it wasn't worth it and that I should just grab some more food to appease them. I grabbed some more fish and crab even though I wasn't hungry for it. Then they started commenting that I was only picking at the healthy stuff! They know I'm on a diet! Of course I am!

Finally dessert course came and I got some fruit and berries. More critique of my food choices.

Why is this everyone/anyone's business?? I just don't get it. I'm not sitting here commenting on every bite of food you put in your mouth. You're an adult. Make your choices. I'll make mine. Fine? Fine.

I remember back to when I started this whole thing, I stopped going out with friends. I knew that when I was out with friends 1) I ate 2) I was expected to eat and 3) I'd REALLY WANT to eat. And now I know why that helped so much. The Old Anna would have just caved. Or not even be making choices to cave FROM. I'd go for the omelette, and chocolate fountain, and pasta, fried chicken, bagels. I love my friends but at that brunch I felt like they weren't being good friends.

I felt okay about the choices I made given the situation though.

The most disheartening thing was going to Christine and only losing .25lb. I couldn't believe it. I've been SO good this week. I emailed her EVERYTHING I put in my mouth. I stuck to the diet like I did when I was first on it. And that was it. She said to just keep going, I'm doing everything right and it will come off soon. And then, of course, I went home and ATE. Not bad foods per se... just quantity. Two bars, a bowl of soup, spoonfulls of peanut butter, rice cakes. Why did I feel like this was an appropriate response? To be upset about a lack of weight loss and have the answer be EAT MORE? What was I thinking?

I just did a whole big FreshDirect order so I should be pretty well stocked with supplies for this week which is a good thing. I just need to have faith that if I stick to my diet, I will lose. Losing .25 of a pound is losing weight. And that's the goal, right? Celebrate, Anna! Don't get down on yourself.

Some pictures from the weekend!
Dancin' on a tree stump!

Family portrait under the Christmas Tree my friends ended up getting!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pefect Week

I want to have a perfect week on my diet. I've been sending Christine my meals every week. I've brought lunch twice so far (one tuna salad sandwich and today a PBJ). I've been that obnoxious person at restaurants "Uh... which of those salad dressings is low fat?" and haven't felt bad about it. I am feeling like I did at the beginning of my diet. Well at least the strict and focused part. I feel confident that I can maintain ... it's basically what I've been doing for the past few months. So at least that's a comfort.

I'm a little nervous about the weekend though because I'm facing two situations where I have had trouble historically. Friday night we're going out to celebrate my coworker's birthday.
Now, I've been blessed since moving to New York of having some really incredibly wonderful coworkers (some of whom read this! Hi!). But ever since switching jobs, I have just a huge quantity of coworkers. And I'm very happy that I've been so welcomed into hanging out with them. But these girls like to DRINK and then EAT and then DRINK some more. And they don't really take abstaining as an option. Some situations you can gracefully bow out, but not these girls. So I anticipate Friday will be a little bit of a struggle. (After a drink or so in me, the idea of a perfect diet week is completely lost. Nachos, mac and cheese, anything fatty or greasy sounds like an INCREDIBLE plan.) If I can go in there, have ONE (read: 1) light beer, then all is well. But... I'm nervous.

Also, I am going out on Sunday to see friends in Long Island, who similarly LOVE to eat. And have been texting me about brunch reservations etc. Another situation I hope I can escape unscathed... especially since I weigh-in with Christine Sunday evenings.

Tomorrow is Friday. My work has this awesome-for-everyone-not-me program where they give wonderful (often fattneing) snacks on Friday. Trouble spot.

I'm trying to plan but I'm having trouble finding the answer. I just don't know but what I DO know is I have trouble when this happens. Trying to avoid that. For now.

How do you guys deal with going out? Especially with people you love but who aren't necessarily the most sensitive to your diet? Is there a good game plan or is it just about putting your foot down?

Also a little PSA from me to you. Clif has a new bar out. AND IT IS DELICIOUS. You should try one. I'm not a big coconut person myself but I am really into this. Also I'm looking for some more snacky ideas as well as some quick-to-pack lunches. Advice, friends?